Deputy mayor will not face censure over comments

Council news
Council news

The vice-chairman of Horncastle Town Council has been told he will not face any district council action after a complaint about comments he made at a meeting.

Coun David Roark, who is also deputy mayor, was involved in a verbal spat with resident Richard Barker at a town council meeting.

Minutes show a member of the public had questioned Coun Roark about the town council’s financial commitments over the coming months - and the lack of a business plan.

Mr Barker, a former town councillor, told the meeting the council ‘needed to be prudent’ with taxpayer’s money.

Coun Roark replied by stating Mr Barker had been involved in the process which led to a town election - and the council incurring costs of £6,500 which he (Coun Roark) described as a ‘waste of taxpayer’s money.’

Mr Barker took offence at those remarks. Coun Roark has subsequently refused to apologise.

Mr Barker complained to East Lindsey District Council Monitoring Officer John Armstrong.

Mr Barker has sent the News a copy of an email from Mr Armstrong.

In the email, Mr Armstrong says Mr Barker’s action in calling for an election did result in the town council incurring a cost.

Mr Armstrong adds: “I am mindful that there is an element of tit-for-tat with a history of previous disagreement between you and Coun Roark and the Members’ Code of Conduct should not be used as a tool in such circumstances.”

Mr Armstrong notes that if there hadn’t been an election, the vacancy on the town council could have been filled by other options, including co-option.

He adds: “While I appreciate you may disagree with my findings, I confirm that for the reasons given I do not intend to take any further action.